Friday morning I spent at STScI, attending the tail end of their archive users' group meeting and then having a great discussion with their Big Data group. I finished in time to hustle off to Penn station by taxi and catch the train down to DC.
From Union Station I took the Metro to Woodley Park, which tripped me out with how far underground it is. The escalator is LOOOOONG. I got a really good deal on two nights at the Omni Shoreham, which is just a block away and pretty swank. (I found a great website that lists hotels in DC by price and proximity to Metro stations, and from there there were links to hotels.com with deals.) After getting settled in my room, I called my sister Sherilyn and she and her husband Devin came and picked me up.
We went to their place and visited for a bit. They have a basement apartment in a wealthy family's (huge!) house, and she cooks for them in lieu of rent. Which is an amazingly good deal; their place is small and low-ceilinged but nice and a full 1-bedroom rather than a studio, and rent in the DC area is pretty insane. I showed them my lithographs, and we played a game of Dominion (all Prosperity) -- the two of them are much more into games than I had expected. Then we got dinner at Vapiano, which is a sort of fast-casual++ Italian place. It's sit-down rather than take-away, but there's no table service; food is made to order and charged to a card that you pay when you leave. It was quite tasty and reasonably priced, and made a nice end to our visit.
They dropped me off back at the hotel, and I got ahold of JD, who I've known online for a while but had never met in person. He came to the hotel and we went to get coffee and chat for a while. The first place we went was too loud (there was a band), so we ended up just going to a nearby Starbucks to loiter until they closed. We got to know one another better there and on the long walk back and had a very nice time. I like him. Yay for turning virtual friends into real friends!
(And then I got tired writing it up, so more tomorrow.)